Friday, November 1, 2019

Louisiana Swampland by Diane Millsap

   This scene painted on two side-by-side canvases captures the beauty of a Louisiana bayou just as the sun is setting.
    The silvery Spanish moss drips languidly from the branches of the old cypress trees, and the ferns and palmettos gleam in the last rays of sunlight.

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Quiet in the French Quarter by Diane Millsap

   Closed shutters, doors, archways, and gates: all invite us to find out what's inside. This sense of mystery is part of the charm of New Orleans' French Quarter buildings.
   I have seen many a tourist straining to peek through an iron gate into a courtyard filled with lush plants and fountains.
   These old buildings have witnessed many stories throughout the centuries, and we wish we could go back in time, even for just a fleeting moment.

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Monday, September 30, 2019

Royal Street Blue by Diane Millsap

Royal Street in the French Quarter has its own special atmosphere. No neon signs here. It's breezy and light. Vines and flowers tumble down from the lacy iron balconies. On the street level, art galleries and windows of antique shops twinkle with chandeliers and beautiful works of art.

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Majestic St. Louis Cathedral by Diane Millsap

In New Orleans' French Quarter, overlooking Jackson Square, stands The St. Louis Cathedral. It is the heart of this old city. It has witnessed fires and epidemics of the past, and it has seen the joy of countless weddings and baptisms over the centuries.
Its architecture is unadorned but perfectly balanced and artful.

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Happy New Orleans by Diane Millsap

Looking down Chartres Street towards Jackson Square, one can almost sense the expectation and the atmosphere of joy and excitement. This original painting conveys that spirit which New Orleans is famous for.

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Bourbon Street Morning by Diane Millsap

Early in the morning, Bourbon Street is empty, and now, without all the neon lights, one can see the diverse architectural detail. The air is clear and the reflections on the pavement are clean and crisp.

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The Elms Mansion in New Orleans by Diane Millsap

  Taking its place alongside other Garden District beauties is the Elms Mansion. Built after the Civil War by a Confederate officer, this Italianate style home boasts elegant rooms enhanced with marble mantles and carved woodwork.
  Today, it serves as a romantic venue for weddings and other celebrations.

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Royal Street Courtyard by Diane Millsap

  After the great fires of Early New Orleans, French Quarter buildings were required to be built right next to each other and close to the street.
  This cut down on the size of yards where flammable foliage could grow. Buildings did have walled courtyards in back where all manners of daily activities took place: laundry, butchering, and cooking.
 Often there were chickens and maybe a hog. This kept some of the messier activities out of the homes which were often very elegant.
  Today these courtyards are beautiful gardens and oases from the heat.

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Thursday, January 3, 2019

Bienville Street in the 1920s by Diane Millsap

  Old buildings in the French Quarter reinvent themselves as the years go by. This original oil painting is taken from an early 1900s photo of Bienville Street, at a time when the French Quarter was in disrepair.
  Today this group of buildings houses the larger, more elegant Arnaud's restaurant. The architectural history is intact.

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Quiet on Bourbon by Diane Millsap

Bourbon Street in New Orleans is not always noisy and raucous.
There are those times late at night when the air is calm and the lights reflect in crystal clarity on the old pavement.

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Wednesday, May 2, 2018

New Orleans Cooking by Diane Millsap

Louisiana boasts some of the best seafood in the world!  Caught in the Bayou or on the shore, the seafood is fresh and prepared with that special Louisiana flare.  Crawfish are boiled with potatoes, corn on the cob, and a dash of Cajun seasoning.  Simmered all day and doled out at festivals and parties.

Shrimp are cooked until they’re pink, then scattered out in heaps on newspapers where they are shelled and devoured right on the spot.  (You forget how many pounds you’ve eaten!)  Oh, and the oysters, steamed, raw, or grilled, take your pick!

The blue crab are also delectable, however, I need more practice in cracking those shells.  All these delights would not be complete with that wonderful crunch, flaky French bread which New Orleans is famous for.  And pick your favorite hot sauce and local beer.  They round out the meal.

Last, but not least, THE GUMBO!  Everyone’s recipe is a little different, but this aromatic stew starts with the “trinity.”  Onion, celery, and green pepper are sautéed in butter.  Then flour is added to form a “roux.”  After that, you can add what you want, tomatoes, sausage, oysters, crab meat, etc., etc.  Gumbo is my favorite;  it’s like New Orleans, where many cultures add up to that unique Big Easy Flavor.
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Saturday, March 17, 2018

Midnight at the Cafe Du Monde by Diane Millsap

  On our first visit to New Orleans, we were surprised to find that this unique coffee stand is open at midnight.
  Hot coffee and "Beignets" (French-style donuts drenched in powdered sugar) were being served. What a pleasant surprise!
  Later the following day, we found out that this famous coffee stand has been in operation 24 hours a day, seven days a week since 1862...only closing for Christmas day. It served rescue workers in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
  You can find Café Du Monde in the French Market at the edge of the French Quarter. 

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Monday, March 5, 2018

Old House on Royal Street by Diane Millsap

  In New Orleans' French quarter, on the corner of Royal and Barracks Streets, there stands a beautiful stucco townhouse. It has withstood the test of almost two centuries.
  It has undergone many minor and cosmetic changes, chimneys rebuilt, some new shutters here and there, and different colors of paint. It still retains its sense of artistic proportions and detail.
  I used an old archival photo of this building as a reference for my painting. Although I chose to change some colors and a few other details, people still recognized this home by its familiar silhouette.

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Monday, February 19, 2018

Evening in Uptown by Diane Millsap

  To stroll through the New Orleans "Uptown" neighborhood s a treat for the senses. The silvery green leaves of the old oaks shimmer against the dark knight sky. The soft colors of the houses are illuminated by windows and porch lights.
  But the best thing about the Uptown neighborhood is the many different architectural styles. Two-story homes with their lacey iron balconies sit comfortably next to small, highly decorated shotguns. Each house is uniquely different and beautiful.

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New Orleans' Natchez Steamboat by Diane Millsap

  Since Antebellum times. there have been nine steamers named the Natchez. They have all claimed the title of Champion of the Mississippi.

   Powered by massive steam engines and the classic wheel at the stern, these powerful and dependable riverboats have won every steamboat race on the Mississippi.

To see more of my New Orleans art, visit